Washington University Provides Free Access to St. Louis Metrolink

The newest extension of St. Louis' Metrolink light rail transit system will open on Saturday, and for students at Washington University, this means greater access to the St. Louis metropolitan area at a price that can't be beat: free.

Students, faculty and staff will now be able to access the Metrolink at two close underground stops, one by the Village at Big Bend and Forest Park Parkway and the other by Kayak's Coffee at Skinker and Forest Park Parkway. These stops will connect to the current system and to new ones at Olive, Forsyth by West Campus, downtown Clayton, the Galleria and southern suburbs of St. Louis.

Current, existing stops at must-see locations still offer fun things to do and see like the Loop on Delmar, Forest Park, the Central West End and Busch Stadium.

The free Metrolink access [is] available to all students who request a Metropass...

As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes, the new extension into some of the southern suburbs will provide an affordable mass transit option to more people on both sides of the Mississippi River. For college students at a number of the area's universities, the new line (and the older one, for that matter) gives greater access to amenities around St. Louis, and create an alternative to high-priced on-campus parking that doesn't come with a guarantee of finding a convenient parking place when needed.

Hopefully, the new line, in providing greater convenience and access to more parts of the metro area, will create greater awareness of the benefits of public transportation, and give rise to more demand. As in so many American cities, the development of mass transit in the Lou' has been hampered by lacks of both funding and a vision of the city and suburbs as a metropolitan whole. Perhaps more people that readily take the Metrolink downtown for Rams, Cardinals and Blues games will come to recognize that it's a viable alternative to daily stop-and-go car commutes. ::Washington University's Student Life and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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